Jose Morales kicked 50 and 48-yard field goals in between touchdowns from Wesley Williams and Tristen Jeffries as the Allan Hancock College football team opened Northern League play with a 20-17 victory over Bakersfield on a windy Saturday at Righetti High School. The Bulldogs evened their record at 2-2 and 1-0 in league, while Bakersfield, which was ranked No.14 in Southern California this week, dropped to 1-3 overall and 0-1 in conference. The Bulldogs beat the Renegades for the first time since 2011 and just the second time in 11 meetings in 2005.
Hancock trailed 10-0 after the first quarter after Parker Campbell converted a 27-yard field goal and Triton Douglas scored on a two-yard run with 65 seconds left in the opening quarter. The Renegades scored the field goal after they recovered a Hancock fumble at the Hancock 13-yard line.
The Bulldog offense came to life in the second quarter with a 12 play, 65 yard drive that was capped by a three-yard touchdown run by freshman fullback Wesley Williams that put Hancock on the board down 10-7 with 5:22 to play in the half. After the Hancock defense forced a punt, Morales, a freshman from Lompoc High School, split the uprights with a 50-yard field goal, the longest of his collegiate career, to send the game into halftime tied 10-10.
The Bulldogs took their first lead of the game two minutes into the third quarter when Morales converted a 48-yard field goal to put Hancock up 13-10 just two minutes into the second half. The Bulldog defense forced a Bakersfield punt, but Morales’ attempt for three points from 46 yards was blocked after the snap was not handled cleanly by the Hancock holder. It marked the first time in nine attempts Morales did not convert a field goal try.
Once again, the Hancock defense shut down the Bakersfield offense and the Hancock offense cashed in for a score as Parham found Jeffries over the middle for a 25-yard touchdown strike with 1:30 left in the quarter to give Hancock a 20-10 lead.
The Renegades made it a three-point game when Derrick Vickers hauled in a 15-yard touchdown from quarterback Vaughn Richardson with nine minutes to play in the game. The Hancock defense held its own and protected the lead the rest of the way to seal the victory.
Curry Parham, a St. Joseph High School graduate, completed 21 of his 33 passes for 161 yards. He threw one touchdown to Jeffries and did not throw an interception in a game for the first time this season. Jeffries, a sophomore, caught a career-high 11 passes for 93 yards and his fifth touchdown of the season. Zak Karsh, a freshman and St. Joseph High School graduate, caught four passes for 35 yards. Lavelle Griffin added three receptions for 20 yards.
Parham was the Bulldogs’ leading-rusher with 65 yards on 14 carries. Jaylin Amerson rushed for 48 yards on seven carries, while Williams finished with 28 yards on 11 carries and his first collegiate touchdown. Lauina Futi, a freshman from American Samoa, added 24 yards on 13 carries.
After a slow start the Hancock offense managed 20 first downs to Bakersfield’s 13. Hancock converted 10 of its 19 third down plays for a 53 percent mark, while Bakersfield had a third down conversion rate of 31 percent at five for 16. The Bulldogs outgained Bakersfield with 335 yards of total offense to the Renegades’ 241 yards. Hancock held a nearly 10 minute advantage in time of possession.
The Bulldogs erased the early 10-0 deficit by outscoring Bakersfield 10-0 in both the second and third quarters.
For the fourth game in a row, linebacker Willie Iribarren led the Bulldogs with 10 tackles, including two for lost yardage. The sophomore and Lompoc High School graduate entered the game leading the state with nearly 14 tackles per game. Deonte Barnes, an Atascadero High School graduate, and Pioneer Valley High School graduate Isaiah Hill added six tackles apiece.
Logan Sprouse broke up six passes and recorded five tackles for Hancock. The Atascadero High School graduate has broken up nine passes this season. The sophomore battled the whipping winds while punting and averaged 22 yards on his six punts.
Douglas led the Renegades with 107 yards on the ground on 16 carries. Xavier Williams added 49 yards on 19 carries. Bakersfield finished with 167 yards rushing, while the Bulldogs compiled 174 yards on the ground. Richardson and Brandon Steele completed just seven of their 26 passes combined.
The Bulldogs will enjoy their bye week next Saturday before returning to action at home against undefeated Long Beach on Saturday, October 11, at 4 p.m. at Righetti High School. The game will be Military Appreciation Night.